Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

August 23, 2005

Christian knick-knacks may not be big business, bu…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 3:39 am

Christian knick-knacks
may not be big business, but Christian bookstores gotta’ sell something. The books you find there are not worth much. Wait a minute – the knick-knacks are not worth much either. Like the little plaques with “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. “

It’s the protestant version of a St. Christopher statue on your dashboard. The problem is they don’t work. Why not?

Maybe the St. Christopher statues don’t work because they are made of plastic. I’m not sure. But the ‘promise box’ application of verses like Jeremiah 29:11 doesn’t work because of improper warrant for using them as promise box verses.


A quick look at how to read the prophets:

1) The prophets, Jeremiah included, served up reminders to the people of Israel of the covenant they were in with God. They re-inforced the punishments for covenant breaches, and the blessings for covenant compliance.

2) These P&B were addressed to the nation of Israel, not to individuals in that nation. This is key.

So, cut it out. Sell your plaques on eBay.



  1. Sorry, but I believe the promises of the OT (whether for individual or the nation of Israel) apply to the people of the NT Church too. But what do I know.

    Comment by out of thin air — August 23, 2005 @ 5:03 am

  2. I don’t care where it’s written (a box, my forehead…). God’s Word never fails. If I can’t trust all of God’s Word (including Jer. 29:11) then what hope is there.

    Comment by out of thin air — August 23, 2005 @ 2:13 pm

  3. I figured that. But what is the proper warrant for “I believe”. Lots of individual Israelis died prematurely, (all of them died eventually), but the nation continued on, in order to bring to fruition God’s plan of redemption.

    Early church (NT people) were being lit on fire to provide light for Nero’s parties. They certainly knew better than to interpret Jer. 29:11 as applicable to all individual people for all time in all historical circumstances.

    Comment by Bruce S — August 23, 2005 @ 3:11 pm

  4. None of us know how long we are going to be here or the trials we may face on this pilgrimage. But we can trust that the Lord has a plan for our daily lives and we all (those that all chosen) have an eternal hope and future.

    Comment by out of thin air — August 23, 2005 @ 3:34 pm

  5. A good book for the non-specialist to read in this regard is “How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth” by McGee and ??? Excellent introduction to hermeneutics. Nevertheless, the promise is true in the ultimate sense that God does give us a future and a hope–it just might not look like what we envision….

    Comment by Sisterhttp://writingonreading.blogspot.com — August 24, 2005 @ 1:21 pm

  6. It is Gordon Fee who wrote “How to read …” I’ve had it in my collection for three years. I used it as the basis for a Bible study I ran with some young (twenty somethings) from LWC a while back.

    I would characterize your (and thin air’s) take as “right doctrine from the wrong text”.

    Finally, if I find “How to read . . . ” at the local Christian bookstore, I will retract my disparaging comment about them.

    Comment by Bruce S — August 24, 2005 @ 3:01 pm

  7. How to Read the Bible… is by Fee & Stuart. One wrote the NT part, the other the OT.

    Comment by Jennyhttp://ellensjourney.org/jenny/ — August 24, 2005 @ 10:45 pm

  8. Sorry about the author blank…my brain is turning to mush which is why I probably won’t attempt to learn Arabic….
    Anyhow, I agree with you about the general state of Xn bookstores. Baker in G.R. isn’t too bad…has all the stuff but does have lots and lots of books. You don’t want to get Ellen started on Xn bookstores…..I order my books online or from IVP and get my cards and kids’ CDs from the bookstores.
    P.S. A few of my new first years were loud and clear about the fact that they don’t like to read. College will be a shock to them, and they had to get “my” section 🙂

    Comment by Sisterhttp://writingonreading.blogspot.com — August 25, 2005 @ 1:04 am

  9. Are you kidding? Of course I wanted to get Ellen started on Xn bookstores.

    Actually, Evangelical Bible Bookstore in North Park (SD) is a great book store. They might even carry a few knick-knacks. But for the most part, it has more than you could read in several lifetimes. Up unitl 2 years ago, they owned the campus bookstore at Westminster.

    Comment by Bruce S — August 25, 2005 @ 3:23 am

  10. Hey,

    My first ever blog response!

    I think I told you we’re friends with the owner of Evangelical.

    They do have at least some knick-knacks; we recently bought three vinyl bible covers from them.

    No inScriptions though.

    Comment by son1 — August 25, 2005 @ 2:48 pm

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